New friends and a second family
Marjorie (Joie) Lim is the Director of Recreation at The Renoir Retirement Residence in Newmarket Ontario. Marjorie was born in the Philippines and after a visit to Canada when she was 19, decided to move permanently. The rest as they say is history. She has studied pre-med, hotel and restaurant management, and activation in gerontology to help deliver meaningful activities to her residents.
Marjorie is an avid traveller and loves to visit different states in the US, specifically New York and Florida, where she would visit once a year before the pandemic. She has travelled to more than 14 countries in Europe, several in Asia, as well as the United Arab Emirates. On her days off, Marjorie enjoys exploring different trails in Ontario with her friends, shopping, visiting the driving range and playing volleyball.
What is your goal in creating programs for your residents?
My goal is to keep our residents interested and engaged with their physical capabilities and interests. I change activities monthly with different programs to keep them excited and learn new things. I also make sure that I listen to their requests and expectations to plan the programs that the majority will enjoy and that will encourage the greatest participation from residents.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When you hear the words "thank you" or "you made my day.” When residents recognize your efforts and enjoy the programs you organized, especially when you see them coming back to your programs, it’s the best feeling.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
My Dad is my greatest inspiration. He taught me the values I need to enjoy life and my job.
What is your favourite type of activity?
I love them all, but maybe a favourite has to be crafts. They’re a great creative outlet for my residents and me.
What is a favourite activity for your residents?
They love getting their exercise and doing crafts. These activities are great not only from a healthy viewpoint, but also because they help engage our residents in an emotional, physical, intellectual and sometimes even spiritual way.
What would residents say about the lifestyle at your residence?
Healthy, fun and engaging. There is a good sense of camaraderie at The Renoir.
What is your best memory from your programs with your residents?
I have many, but I will share one of my best memories. We turned the theatre into a cruise for a resident who wished to join a river cruise in Europe. It included the chef cooking for her and her guests, a dressed-up captain and the big screen that showcased the countries on the river cruise.
When are you happiest at work?
When my residents are excited during activities. When we all get together as a group and the room is filled with laughter and smiles it makes my day so much more special.
What was an unexpected or a happy surprise about working with your residents?
Recently, I put a trivia game together where residents can call a friend or family for assistance and that was a big success. I received a lot of thank you messages because our residents were encouraged to contact their family and participate in the trivia together. It’s really meaningful to be able to maintain strong connections between our residents and their family members
What have you learned from your residents?
I've learned that making other people happy makes you the happiest. Also, integrity makes you proud of the things you accomplish.
What motivates you to come to work each day?
It’s simple: my residents. I’m always inspired by their engagement with our activities, and I’ve been able to make so many strong connections with them. It’s like I’ve grown my family many times over by being with them every day.
What is the best compliment you have received from a resident?
I’m always happy to receive “thank yous” and phone calls from my residents saying how they appreciated the treats from the happy cart, or even just stopping by my office to say they enjoyed the new program and can't wait to attend the next class. It is all appreciated. I feel most elated when I see residents coming back and signing up for activities. It means that they enjoyed it, which for me is the best compliment.
What do you wish more people knew about senior living and the people who live and work there?
I wish they knew that life doesn’t stop when you live in a retirement home. Seniors continue to do what they enjoy. Living in a retirement residence gives you a sense of security and comfort. The Renoir is a place where you can continue your independence and maintain your current abilities. You are encouraged to continue to learn and dream with new friends and a second family.